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Women Protest Gender-Based Violence in Mexico
Mexican feminist activists have taken over offices of local human rights commissions around the country, including Mexico’s national human rights commission in the capital. Women are calling for more government action against gender-based violence and demanding justice for missing people. Recent acts of violence against women—including the brutal killing of Ingrid Escamilla earlier this year, who was stabbed, skinned, and disemboweled—have spurred national outrage. Tens of thousands of women participated in a nationwide strike in March to protest government inaction on femicide. The number of femicides have increased by 137 percent over the past five years, according to statistics by the Mexican government.
Calls for Women's Inclusion in Afghan Peace Talks
Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are underway, but many Afghan women fear that their rights and priorities will be overlooked, and have called on the Taliban to ensure that the progress women have made in the last two decades won’t be reversed. Last week, more than one hundred global leaders—including four former U.S. secretaries of state—signed an open letter calling for Afghan women’s representation at every stage of the peace talks. Four women serve on the Afghan government’s twenty-one-member team in the current talks; no women serve on the Taliban’s team. A body of research shows that women’s participation in peace processes improves the chances of reaching sustainable agreements.
Iranian Women's #MeToo Moment
Over the past month, Iranian women have come forward to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, adding their voices to the global #MeToo movement. Women have made accusations against prominent male figures in Iranian society, including artists and celebrities. Following multiple accusations of rape against the same perpetrator, the Tehran police chief announced on August 25 that they had made an arrest. One prominent #MeToo case out of Iran is the case of Sara Omatali, a former journalist, who tweeted about being assaulted in 2006 by a high-profile artist. Omatali came forward after years of blaming herself for her own assault, and many other Iranian women are joining her in speaking out against sexual assault and harassment.